Celebrating a Culture of YES in Toronto



#YIMBY10: Sat, Dec 9th, 1:30-5:30pm – Metro Hall Rotunda 

Jane Jacobs Prize at 4:30pm


The YIMBY (Yes in My Backyard) Festival is an event for people and groups involved – or looking to become involved – in grassroots, locally driven community development in Toronto. The Festival is an opportunity for people to gather, spread the word about their work, exchange ideas to effect change and strengthen their networks. It’s a chance to celebrate achievements and identify new challenges and opportunities, in an atmosphere focused on listening, learning and engaging. This one-day event invites community groups from across Toronto to turn the tables on politicians and policy makers, educating them about the issues that face our city’s communities, as experienced by the community. YIMBY provides an opportunity for neighbours to meet neighbours, residents to meet politicians and politicians to meet community groups in the spirit of people coming together for positive change.


The Jane Jacobs Prize is an annual award that celebrates individuals who contribute to the fabric of Toronto life in unique ways that exemplify the ideas of Jane Jacobs. The prize recipients reflect the diverse aspects of city life. They may not always agree on what makes the city work or what the answers are to making it work better, but their observations and backgrounds have become part of our urban experience and enrich our lives.

The Jane Jacobs Prize was first announced in 1997 at the end of a five-day international celebration called Jane Jacobs: Ideas that Matter. Hundreds of the world’s most prominent thinkers and community leaders attended the Toronto event to exchange ideas and celebrate Jacob’s work in the areas of cities, economies and values. 


RSVP on our Facebook page to get updates on FREE workshop schedules, who will be tabling, and more.


Info on free workshops: http://bit.ly/2mq3Abl 


The YIMBY festival was founded by Christina Zeidler in 2006. Incubated at The Gladstone, YIMBY emerged from Christina’s work with Active 18, a local neighbourhood group that was responding to widespread unchecked development in Toronto’s Queen West Triangle. She realized that many neighbourhood groups were presumed to engage solely in antagonistic relationships that pitted them against city policy makers, and unfairly labeled them as being part of a NIMBY (Not In My Back Yard) movement.

YIMBY is about promoting the role of neighbourhood groups as a positive force for change, who seek developments and projects that enhance the quality of life of the community, and bring the vitality that meets local needs. Local residents know the most about the needs and challenges of their neighborhoods, and the festival stresses the importance of working with government staff and the development, business and institutional sectors to take charge of the planning process in their area.

Toronto has a rich history of civic engagement and community involvement. YIMBY provides groups with a space to spread the word about the issues that Toronto’s communities and our city at large face, and to showcase responses, actions, and opportunities for community members to get involved and become a part of the solution.

Past YIMBY events have been highly successful, attracting over 65 community groups, hundreds of community members, and elected officials including city councillors and local MPs.


“As first-time YIMBY participants this year, we realized this was definitely where we needed to be – surrounded by people who share our passion for creating friendly, accessible and inclusive spaces where people with diverse abilities can realize their dreams and potential…YIMBY was a great place to connect with grass-root initiatives and community organizations in other sectors. This helps us envision and create new opportunities for people we support.”

– Ilaneet Goren, Diversity Specialist with Community Living Toronto and YIMBY Tabler, 2014

“Creating change is not an easy task and often involves a bottom up approach lead by volunteers and grassroots organizations passionate about their important initiatives with a commitment to make our communities better for everyone. With strength in numbers, YIMBY 2014 provided a fantastic opportunity for like-minded difference makers to gather, draw inspiration, and share their incredible work that helps make our city a better place to live.”

– Luke Anderson, Founder, StopGap Foundation and YIMBY Tabler and Presenter, 2014


YIMBY 2014

YIMBY 2014

YIMBY 2013

YIMBY 2013

YIMBY 2011

YIMBY 2011